Monday, September 20, 2010

Individuals must do the responsible thing to make any law work

In Texas they have a law that children that attend a day care and are transported should not be left in the vehicle.  It is called “Jacob’s Law” after a little boy four years ago died in a van after being left for many hours. Before you say, “duh” read on.


Just a few days ago it happen again.

Avonda Fox worked for many years to get the legislature in Texas to enact the law. Her drive was to do some good as a result of the loss of her son Jacob when he died in a hot day care van. Her son was left in the van in temperatures that was in triple digits in 2006. The owner of the day care facility told her employees to take the body to the park and not call 911. The owner only received two years in prison for her failure to take appropriate and responsible action.

It happen again in Plano, Texas. Police have released few details in the latest death. But, the child was left in the van at 9 in the morning and wasn’t discovered until 3 in the afternoon, when a child entering the van found him “asleep”.

Nothing, repeat, nothing will be able to replace the two lost children to their families. It was good that the law was enacted because apparently you can only get two years for such a thing.

But, no law, no matter how tough on the convicted can replace personal responsibility in situations like this. Was there no head count as children left the van? How about a last check after everyone is checked in? Was someone errant, or uncaring, to not remember?

Laws are meant to guide us in our actions and to provide punishment for those that don’t follow the law. Laws, no matter how well written, will only work if people take personal responsibility to do the right thing. One of the foundational planks of any community is individuals acting in a way that is best for themselves, their families and the community.

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